BIG Ten Week 9 Recap
Separation Week in the BIG TEN…
October 19, 2013
The Golden Gophers edge ‘Cats 20-17
EVANSTON — Minnesota (5-2, 1-2) snapped a two-game losing streak as James Manuel broke a 7-7 tie with a 24-yard third quarter interception return and Chris Hawthorne turned another Wildcat turnover into a 34-yard field goal in the fourth.
Host Northwestern (4-3, 0-3) dropped its third straight.
Ailing head coach Jerry Kill, on indefinite leave after a series of epileptic seizures, watched from the coaches box as Manuel picked off Wildcat quarterback Trevor Siemian with 1:22 for a go-ahead score. The Gophers made it 17-7 just 87 seconds later on Hawthorne’s field goal after recovering a Wildcat fumble.
Hawthorne’s 38-yard field goal with 5:24 remaining made it 20-10. Northwestern cut the deficit to 20-17 on a 10-yard touchdown strike from Siemian to Tony Jones with 2:07 remaining.
Gopher quarterback Philip Nelson was 8-of-11 for 112 yards, including a touchdown strike to Derrick Engel. Running back David Cobb rushed 20 times for 103 yards.
Minnesota’s defense shut down a promising Northwestern drive deep into Gopher territory early in the final frame. The Wildcats settled for a 35-yard Jeff Budzien field goal that cut the Gopher lead to 17-10 with 11:09 left in regulation.
After Hawthorne’s second field goal, Northwestern converted on three fourth downs in a 75-yard scoring drive that culminated in Jones’ 10-yard TD reception.
An important note for the ‘Cats was two key Northwestern players were sidelined with reported ankle injuries: tailback Venric Mark and quarterback Kain Colter, who was dressed but only available in an emergency role.
Minnesota hosts Nebraska next Saturday while Northwestern travels to Iowa.
Wisconsin has their way against Illinois 56-32
CHAMPAIGN — Melvin Gordon carried the mail on Saturday afternoon for the Badgers as he rushed for 142 yards and three touchdowns to lead the ranked Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) to a 56-32 rout of Illinois. Second running back James White backed him up with another 98 yards in 20 carries and two touchdowns.
“That momentum at the beginning was important,” Gordon said. “We knew we had to come out fast, especially on the road. They tried to take it from us but we took right back.”
Wisconsin lost defensive leader Chris Borland to injury early on Saturday and even with an early three-touchdown lead struggled to put Illinois away.
Borland, the team’s leading tackler, said he hurt his right hamstring covering a punt in the first quarter. He never returned, watching much of the second half in street clothes.
Borland’s absence didn’t improve Illinois’ ability to run. The Badgers entered the game as the 10th-best run defense in the country, giving up 90.1 yards a game. Josh Ferguson led Illinois with just 25 yards on seven carries. Borland’s backup, Marcus Trotter, made the most of his shot with a team-high nine tackles.
“I just couldn’t play,” he said. “It’s going to be OK, they’ve already started to take care of it.”
Illinois coach Tim Beckman said defense was a problem for the Illini (3-3, 0-2) , but so was a running game that managed just 72 yards on 29 carries against one of the top run defenses in the country.
“When you play against a team like that, you’ve got to be clocking on all cylinders,” he said. “Defensively, we didn’t tackle well in space.”
Illinois’ offense revolved around quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, who had 249 yards passing. Steve Hull caught six passes for 105 yards.
Defense carries Spartans to 14-0 win over Purdue (Associated Press)
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Denicos Allen returned a fumble 45 yards for a touchdown, and Michigan State’s offense finally added an insurance score in the fourth quarter of a 14-0 win over Purdue on Saturday.
The Spartans didn’t make it past the Purdue 32-yard line until the fourth, when receiver Tony Lippett threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Gleichert on a trick play.
Michigan State (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten Conference) remains atop the Legends Division but clearly has work to do with the toughest part of its schedule still to come. Purdue (1-6, 0-3) kept it close after being routed by Wisconsin and Nebraska in its first two conference games, but Paul Griggs missed two field goals.
The Spartans entered with the nation’s top-ranked defense, and Allen opened the scoring in the second quarter with Michigan State’s fifth defensive touchdown of the season. Max Bullough hit quarterback Danny Etling, the ball popped free, and Allen was able to scoop it up and score easily.
Purdue converted a fourth down thanks to a penalty, which gave the Boilermakers the ball at the Michigan State 34 with 9 seconds left in the second quarter. That was as far into opposing territory as either team advanced the ball in the first half, but Griggs was short on a 51-yard field goal attempt.
Griggs also came up short from 41 yards in the third quarter, and Michigan State scored again in the fourth. Connor Cook completed a pass to Macgarrett Kings for 25 yards on third-and-12, and a 26-yard catch-and-run by Josiah Price put the ball at the Purdue 7.
Two plays later, Lippett took the ball on what looked like an end-around, but he threw to an open Gleichert for a touchdown.
Cook went 13 of 25 for 107 yards, although at one point he had only 17 yards on eight completions. Etling was 14 of 25 for 160 yards, but he also threw a crucial interception in the end zone in the first quarter, after Purdue had reached the Michigan State 37 with a fourth-down conversion.
Jeremy Langford had 131 yards on 24 carries for Michigan State.
While the Spartans were sputtering offensively, punter Mike Sadler gave them a lift, landing three punts inside the 10-yard line.
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